We’re happy to be a destination for food and wine lovers, tourists and other out-for-a-drive adventurers in our region, but we’re by no means the only destination. The Petits fruits de Pré-d’en-Haut’s many u-pick activities, the historic Beaumont Chapel and the Boudreau Meat Market all do great work in catering to clients and visitors. The potential however, is there for lots more of this type of development.
The Petitcodiac River and its banks have long been a place of food abundance, with fish, seashore greens, cattle pasture, endless backyard gardens and in recent decades, fruit orchards. The fact that the main road meandering along the river is also an official provincial scenic drive is a huge asset, attracting people who may otherwise stay on our heavily-forested highways instead.
This brings us to our pitch: Why not aim to brand and develop a Memramcook section of this drive as a Harvest Route or Agricultural Corridor? In addition to the reasons listed above, the fact that fertile land is in such proximity to ever-growing Greater Moncton should be reason enough for local residents and decision-makers to consider this idea.
Models abound elsewhere in Quebec and Vermont for instance, as well as closer to home in Nova Scotia’s beautiful Annapolis Valley. There, historic farms, diversified retailers and gorgeous wineries pocka-dot the landscape and create a well-known rural destination. The recent establishment of Latitude 46 Estate Winery ‘down the road’ from our orchard and a planned Farmers’ Market later this fall are hopefully signs of things to come here.
Of course, regions of this sort are not created overnight, but we would like to encourage new farmers to explore the area, and would like to see the municipality research different policy tools. In time, working together with a common vision, we think the pastures could be very green here indeed.